In 1998, the California Legislature designated the second full week in May each year to honor the important contributions of citizens who serve on juries, making citizens’ right to trial by jury possible. This year marks the 16th Anniversary of Juror Appreciation Week. For those of you who have served on a jury, CALA would like to applaud you.

Jury service contributes to our American system of justice and is an important form of service to local communities. Today, we express our appreciation for you: thank you to the millions of citizens in California and the United States for making our country a symbol of justice.

However, it is unacceptable that many Americans avoid jury service. Our system of justice is unique in this world, and we must all participate to ensure it works.

To quote California Supreme Court Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, “Trial by jury is one of the fundamental ideals of American democracy; serving as jurors reminds us that these ideals exist only as long as individual citizens are willing to uphold them.”

So, during Juror Appreciation Week, we ask everyone to answer the call and when that jury summons arrives in the mail, not to discard it, but to do your civic duty and play your part in our judicial system.